Mackie Letter 1

sent 02/13/2007

Dear,

I am contacting you as one of the main developers of the FreeBoB project, of which I included an introduction at the end of this message. We aim to provide Linux support for firewire audio interfaces. Currently we support devices based upon the BridgeCo BeBoB platform by cooperating with BridgeCo?. This includes the Mackie Onyx Firewire extension card.

A the moment, the functionality we support is what the generic BeBoB firmware provides. This encompasses the most important parts of the device's functionality, such as audio & midi streaming. In order to provide a satisfactory end-user experience however, we would like to support all functions of the device. This is very difficult without the information on the firmware customizations done for these specific devices. Regarding the Mackie Onyx 1620, we currently have user reports indicating that recording works fine, but reporting problems with playback. We would like to resolve these problems.

My inquiry therefore is if Mackie is interested in providing us with the information specific to their devices, such that we can implement the 10% of functionality we are missing.

Regards,

Pieter Palmers
FreeBoB developer,
freebob.sf.net

A (short) introduction to the FreeBoB project:

The FreeBoB project is a community based volunteer initiative, targetting an open-source driver for Firewire audio interfaces, for the Linux operating system. It's initial goal was to provide a generic Linux driver infrastructure for Firewire audio interfaces based upon the BridgeCo BeBoB platform. From the start of the project we are in close contact with BridgeCo?, enabling us to implement generic support for their BeBoB platform. This resulted in FreeBoB version 1.0 that provides support for the 'common dividor' between the BeBoB devices, being device discovery, basic configuration and audio & midi streaming.

FreeBoB v1.0 was released to the public in October 2006 [1], and since the source distribution has been downloaded more than 700 times. Next to the source distribution, audio oriented distributions (64studio [2], JAD [3], ...) or distribution overlays (PlanetCCRMA [4], Gentoo ProAudioOverlay [5], ...) provide binary packaged versions of FreeBoB, indicating the community interest in the project and extending the user base considerably.

The goals for FreeBoB v2.0 have changed into providing generic Linux support for all Firewire audio devices, no matter what platform they are built upon or what standards they (don't) conform to. The codebase has been rewritten in order to provide the framework for this generalization. The BeBoB support from FreeBoB v1.0 has been ported to the new framework, and support for the Motu Traveler and 828mkII has been newly implemented. We have agreements with TC Applied Technologies to implement generic support for their DICE platform, and with Metric Halo to incorporate their devices. This will make that FreeBoB v2.0 will support a large portion of the Firewire audio devices available. The first beta version of FreeBoB v2.0 will be presented at the Linux Audio Conference [6], held 22-25 march 2007 in Berlin. Due to the extension of our focus beyond the BeBoB platform, we are considering a name change for the project.

[1] http://linuxaudio.org/en/press/linux_audio_press_release_9.txt
[2] http://64studio.com
[3] http://www.jacklab.org/
[4] http://ccrma.stanford.edu/planetccrma/software/introduction.html
[5] http://proaudio.tuxfamily.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page
[6] http://www.kgw.tu-berlin.de/~lac2007/index.shtml